1. Banashankari

2. MahaKuta
3. Jain temple
4. Pattadkal
5. Aihole.
6. Boothanathatemple(Badami)


We started our day with visit to Banashankari temple.Banashankari temple is 5kms from Badami.Banashankari is also known as Shakambari(shakahari is vegeterain in Kannada). Banashankari was the kuldevata(main god) of Chalukya's. Main godess here is Banashakari, incarnation of Godess parvati. Banashankari devi is seated on Lion here..At the entrance of the temple you can find a pond, where localites were taking bath before visiting the temple, we just sprankled lil water and  went to the temple. Temple was very crowded, and i was  shocked to see devotees inside the Garbha-gudi(Main place where god/godess idol is placed). When checked with the priest, he told even we will be let it, if we buy some pooja tickets, which will be for an hour or so..We dint have much time,so i requested the priests to ask the devotees inside the garbha-gudi to leave some place in middle, so we could have the darshan. Though he told them to leave some gap in between,no one was listening to him, and was busy watching the abhishekam to godess. We waited for 5/10 mins to see if someone moves.No luck they were standing still, we just managed to see the face of godess. I really felt bad about this. Since this is one of the tourist/historical place, they should ensure tourists get darshan instead of filling the garbaha-griha with Localites..We then headed to next place called mahakuta.

Banashankari idol,Captured from photo in temple
Banashankari idol, (Captured from photo in temple)

Banashankari temple
Banashankari temple.


We then left to Mahakuta, which is around 12kms from Badami. Main deity of the temple is Maha- kooteshwara. We took darshan of   Mahakuteshwara , and was about to come out, while i noticed big banyan trees and  some shrines kinda thing at a little height from main temple, in the same complex.  We took the steps leading from left of the main temple to find lot of  mantapams and shrines scattered across a pond or pushkarini.. Only then we realized  how big the temple is.

Idols found scattered around pond in Mahakuta
Idols found scattered around pond in Mahakuta

Pond in Mahakuta temple
Pond in Mahakuta temple

Temple is full of lingams of various sizes, shapes and designs.  Subtemples were totally dark, with no poojas offered (Only main temple has pooja) I went inside one of the sub-temple, expecting some beautiful carvings, i ran out, when i saw bats hanging on roof of the temple.. Not sure if carvings exist in the sub temples, but it is in pathetic condition with no poojas n paints.... We went around the temple, taking snaps of some scattered carvings  here and there. Also we saw few people taking bath in the pond ( Surprisingly pond water was very clean.. ) and  preparing food in some shrines.

People cooking in one of mantapams,Mahakuta temple
People cooking in one of Mantpams,  
(Mahakuta temple)

Mahakuta temple
Mahakuta temple


Our next destination was Pattadkal. On the way to Pattadkal  we saw a  temple, when asked the driver about this, he told  it is just a small jain temple madam nothing much to see. Attracted by the  carvings, i insisted that he stop, atleast we can just look around once..Inscriptions there said it  is a Jain temple, built in the Dravidian style by the Rastrakuta 's.  Yeah  as per driver there was nothing inside the temple, but everything was outside:).. Just  at entrance of  Garbha griha, we saw 2 beautifully carved elephants . We went around the temple, enjoyed watching architectural style of the walls, took some snap and then continued our journey to Pattadkal..

Walls of Jain temple near Pattadkal
Walls of Jain temple near Pattadkal

Carvings in Jain temple near Pattadkal
Carvings in Jain temple near Pattadkal


Pattadakal  is around 15kms from Badami.  Unlike Hampi, Pattadkal sightseeing places are not very spread out, and  is in a single complex. Complex is  streched around  2 kms, and contains around 10 temples. The main temples are Virupaksha, Mallikarjuna, Jambulinga, Kaddi Siddeshwara, Papanatha,Galaganatha, Kashi Vishwanatha and Sangameshwara. We hired a guide to have better understanding of the place. He explained us about the place in greater details..

View from Entrance of Pattadkal complex
View from entrance of Pattadkal complex.

Us in front of temple in Pattadkal.
Us in front of temple in Pattadkal.

Pattadkal is  second capital of the Chalukyas, and was mainly intended for coronation of kings  who ascended the throne. ( place where prince was crowned as King.)  Since pattadakal lies on the northern course of the River Malaprabha, it is considered as very auspicious according to Holy Scriptures. Chalukyas chose this place for Pattabhishekam. (Patta means higher post(crowning as KING). Kallu means stone) .A large stone has all the names of 99 kings whose coronation was conducted here starting from Chandragupta Maurya.Below are the details of  some temples as found on the inscriptions near it..

Amazing, every inch of stone is carved here.
Amazing, every inch of stone is carved here.

Carvings everywhere, including pillars,roof,Base..
Carvings everywhere, including pillars,roof,Base.

Virupaksha Temple: Built by Queen Lokamahadevi in 745 to commemorate her husband vikramaditya 's victory   over the pallavas. This is only temple which has pooja, other temples dont have main idols (desecrated by the Moghuls ,hence no pooja is performed in other temple).  Opposite to this Virupaksa temple you can find Nandi Mantapa , which has  large image of  Nandi on a raised floor.

Virupaksha temple in Pattadkal.
Virupaksha temple in pattadkal.

Nandi opposite to Virupaksha temple
Nandi Opp to Virupaksha temple

Sangameshwara Temple:  Oldest temple in Pattadakal, built by vijayaditya , which is built in  Dravidian style. .

 Kasivisvesvara temple:  This temple was built by the Rastrakuta in the 8th century. Kashi Vishwanatha temple in Nagara style 

Mallikarjuna Temple is a smaller version of the virupaksha  temple and was built by Vikramadiyta's second queen Trilokyamahadevi in 745

Sangameshvara temple  Pattadakal
Sangameshwara temple pattadkal.

Mallikarjuna n Kasivisvanatha temples at Pattadaka
Mallikarjuna n Kasivisvanatha temple in pattadkal.

Galaganatha temple: was built a century later in the Nagara style.

Papanath  temple: This temple  was started in nagara style but later changed to a more balanced Dravidian style. Dont miss museum in Pattadakal, which showcases some of the findings in the area. Besides these, there are also some pillars and ruined temple walls which has interesting inscriptions.

Papanatha temple at Pattadakal
Papanatha temple @ pattadkal.

Virupaksha temple in Pattadkal.
Virupaksha temple Pattadkal.

Many temples here are richly carved with  Epic's of Ramayana, mahabharata..Other than epic carvings, we can also see some  creative carvings like  Elephant and bull,  bearing  same head. (If you hold hand closing elephant u can notice only bull, if u close hand on bull, you can notice only elephant.)  Similar carving i noticed was  3 dancers, beaaring same hands and legs. (You can try urself by covering other two dancers with your hand..)

3 dancers, bearing same hands and Legs.
3 dancers, bearing same hands and legs.

Bull and Elephant bearing same face.
Bull & Elephant bearing same face.


It was around 2:00pm by the time we reached Aihole,  we were badly hungry,as we had started early morning from Badami. (Practically  there is no  good hotels once you leave Badami )  Aihole is a village, and we could not expect any decent hotels there. All you find is Kanavali's (Non-veg mess) or  small tea shops with  masala on puffed rice or bhajiya's with Mirchi.. When asked our driver he said, usually in village,  they eat at home, and hardly anyone would come to hotels.. Without any option we decided to eat in Kanavali, we asked him to just give us rice, and get  curd from Bakery near by.(He dont have curd rice).  He got  curd in tiny pot, this is the best curd we have ever had in Life. It  was so thick and tasty.  Mom told it  is made from buffalo milk and  keeping it in pot makes it best curd.. We still cherish the taste of curd... We enjoyed our curd rice and started our  walk in Aihole complex..

Aihole complex
Aihole complex.

Scattered temples/models in Aihole complex
Scattered temples/models in Aihole complex.

As found on the Inscriptions, Aihole ( Known as  Aryapura those days) was the experimenting ground for the early chalukyan Kings.. Before building structural temples in Prominent place, Aihole was used as place to construct models of temples, and try different architectural styles.. So we can literally find  temple structures, everywhere in Aihole village.  Our driver said, Aihole has over a hundred temples scattered around the village. Its practically impossible to visit each one, so we decided to just  see the ones which are in a single complex.  This complex includes temples like Ladkhan temple, Durga temple, Gaudar Gudi and few other lesser known temples(Atleast lesser known to me). 

Ladkhan temple.
Ladkhan temple

Gaudar temple in Aihole complex
Gaudar temple in Aihole complex.

We took  around 2 hours, to  walk around the entire complex,  enjoy the  amazing carvings, and  different architecutre styles.. Most of the temples have broad mandapams. We could see some school children doing there homeworks sitting in the mandapams, we also noticed few elderly using it as a chit chat place.. I saw few people cleaning the  complex, and started a conversation with them, asking  why all this people are let in, (Apart from tourist), and there are no proper hotels being such a important historical place. And literally no idols/inscriptions in temple complex. I learnt from that women, that none of this temples are named because of God/Godess there, but  because of  name of people who used to live there once, And since  Aihole temples are widely spread across entire village, its difficult to maintain, and ASI, is slowly taking over all important temples, building complex around them, this is one such complex.. It was already 4:00. We decided to start as we had to go Badami, and  bus @ 8:00 pm from Badami to Blore....

So many ganesha idols..
so many ganesha idols.

On one of roofs of a temple.
One of roofs of temple.

Can u observe localites chatting in the mandapam ?
Can u observer localites, chatting in mandapam.

This kids wanted us to take a snap of them :)
This kids wanted us, to take snap of them.

DESTINATION 6: Boothanatha temple (Badami)

We had missed this Boothanatha temple yesterday, So decided to cover this today. As we had couple of hours before our bus. This Temple Entrance is near Badami museum. Left of Badami Museum leads you to Badami Fort, and  Right side a road leads to entrance of  Agastya lake and this temple.. As we walk further, we saw a Caves with this beautiful carvings.. 
Boothanatha temple(Captured from Cave temple)
Boothanatha temple (Captured from cave temple)

Boothanatha temple

Further  if we walk half a km, at the east end of the Agastyateertha, is the Bhutanatha group of temples, which has a temple built in Dravidian style with few  smaller shrines attached. We spent some time near Boothanatha temple, there was no much carvings there, but the temple structures and pillars were beautiful,  being in middle of  Agastya lake adds to its beauty.

Beautiful carving on way to Boothanata temple
Beautiful carving on way to Boothanatha temple

Beautiful carving on way to Boothanata temple
Beautiful carving on way to Boothanatha temple.

We took some snaps and was about to leave. We saw a watchman coming towards us, who told us,  there used be boat in this lake, and people were taken for a ride from Badami Caves to directly  Boothanatha temple, and one can get down in this temple, and trek  to Badami caves,  colurful idols/statues  were placed along this route. But  after some bad incident it is stopped, and Agastya lake is very contaminated now, without  use and clean up activity.. 

Trek on this tiny bridge from Boothanath 2 Badami
Trek on this tiny bridge from boothanath temple
In middle of trek from Boothanatha to Caves
In middle of trek from Boothanatha to Badami Caves.

We were surprised to know that this route leads to Badami caves.. To return to the Hotel,  we had to pass on Badami caves. Since we had  couple of hours to spare before the bus, we decided to trek, reach Badami caves and from there take auto to  our  Hotel.  Watchman warned us  this is almost a km, but problem is at  many places, path ways are closed and you have to literally walk through trees formed like a mini forest.. I was not sure first, coz even my parents were there, but  when my mom said she can manage, we assured watchman we will be careful,  Watchman was so helpful, he actually came  a farlong, showed us the way, and went back..  Some places were really scary as there was no bridge, and path way was full of  thick trees.. 

Idols placed in that route.
Idols placed in that route..

This is in middle of mini jungle near boothanatha.
This is in middle of Mini jungle
 near Boothanatha

We finally  reached  Badami caves in  40 mins, and  took an auto  to  hotel. (Our Car driver had dropped us to Boothanatha temple and left saying he has a an Pick up @ 6:00pm,  We agreed, as  Badami caves was just 2kms from hotel we stayed).  Had coffee and some snacks, and  started our nite journey back to Blore...

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  1. Ms.Suma its good that somebody writes a blog like this. Keep it up. People think that outing means a very time consuming activity, but they hardly realize that there many places around our cities which we can hang around every weekends and have fun. Its a great stress buster, especially in an IT city like Bangalore.

    Mahesh M Nair

  2. Read the whole article. Very well written and nicely descriptive. Must say it is amazing. And great photography too! :)